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‘Do the right thing’: Police chief’s concern about people heading to beaches

PUBLISHED: 07:11 22 May 2020 | UPDATED: 07:11 22 May 2020

Norfolk Police's assistant chief constable for Norfolk Constabulary, Julie Wvendth. Photo: Norfolk Constabulary

Norfolk Police's assistant chief constable for Norfolk Constabulary, Julie Wvendth. Photo: Norfolk Constabulary

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A police chief has voiced “real concern” about flocks of people descending on the coast this bank holiday weekend in light of the recent easing of coronavirus lockdown measures.

Just a handfull of sunseekers on Cromer's main beach during coronvirus restrictions. Picture: Chris BishopJust a handfull of sunseekers on Cromer's main beach during coronvirus restrictions. Picture: Chris Bishop

Earlier this month prime minister Boris Johnson, who announced a lockdown in March to help stop the spread of Covid-19, brought about an easing of measures as part of a road map for Britons to safely exit the crisis.

As a result people have been able to meet others, not from their own household, in areas like parks as long as they abide by social distancing measures.

But with a warm bank holiday weekend in the way, there is concern that Norfolk’s beaches will become magnets for people looking to get out of the house after weeks of lockdown.

Speaking ahead of the weekend Julie Wvendth, Norfolk’s assistant chief constable, said the force had “real concerns” about people heading to the beaches this weekend.

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She said it was understandable that people were going to want to go out this weekend but urged that people be sensible and “avoid risks to their family and those around them”.

She said: “We’re still in a response to a pandemic phase and l’m worries that people are becoming complacent because of the relaxing of restrictions.

“The hope would be rather than to jump in the car and go to the coast, try and find places near to where you live.”

But if people did venture out to go the coast this weekend she urged people to “do the right thing” and “protect yourselves, your family and other people around you”.

People were urged to continue to socially distance to avoid the risk of spreading the virus.

Those who might be heading for the coast were also urged to be “respectful” to those that live there and not just leave cars parked all over the place blocking others and emergency vehicles.

The concerns follow a video from Norfolk’s chief constable Simon Bailey after greater freedoms were introduced earlier this month. He said: “My main concern is if communities now think the virus no longer poses a threat, they may not adhere to social distancing and take risks not taken before and then increase the risk of infection growing. But it is important to carry on with social distancing and personal hygiene to stop the spread of the virus.

“As we move forward I want communities to continue to reflect on that because this is not the end of the road and there is still a very long way to go. do not mean the pandemic is over.”


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